Academic Certificate in Worship Music Leadership

Academic, Not-for-credit

Certificate Overview

The Music in Worship Leadership Certificate is an academic, not-for-credit certificate1 that provides credentialing and training to individuals wishing to strengthen their leadership in church or other worship music settings. Many times, worship music leaders in churches or other places of worship are individuals who have not had formal training in music. While these leaders often demonstrate a high level of musical talent, professional training in areas such as conducting, musical leadership, theory and ear training, music/AV technology, and rehearsal techniques will help those who complete the certificate lead more effectively, both musically and professionally.

1An academic not-for-credit certificate is offered by credentialed faculty in the field and overseen by the academic College. The certificate and its contents are an official credential from the University but may not be applied towards the earning of any undergraduate or graduate degree, minor, or certificate for credit.

Messiah choir and orchestra in December 2022 

Is a Music in Worship Leadership Certificate Right for You?

This certificate is intended for those who serve, or are intending to serve, as either volunteer or paid worship leaders in a place of worship or other similar setting.

The learners in this cohort will receive the academic training and experience offered by experts in the Department of Music in stackable courses that create this certificate. Each course is designed to specifically develop the skills needed to run and support a successful worship music program. This certificate will not operate through Continuing Education or Enterprise Development but instead is supported by the Department of Music and taught by expert faculty.


Requirements for Acceptance into the Certificate Program

Applicants will need to provide a transcript of any college degree(s) (if applicable) and demonstrate musical ability through an audition process. Successful applicants will demonstrate a record of musical participation in either worship music settings (as a leader or participant), or in other musical setting during their adult life after college. Exceptions to entrance requirements will need to be approved by the Director of the program.


Curricular Topics/Courses

Five people standing with instruments, smiling at the camera.  

Many of the below topics will be covered in multiple courses; however, the topics will be organized generally in the following areas: 

Conducting/Conducting Lab
Rehearsal Techniques
Ear Training/Sight-Singing
Worship/Service Planning and Development
Musical Leadership/Leadership for Lay Musicians
Capstone Project, in conjunction with a place of worship (or other approved project)


Format and Timeline

This Music in Worship Leadership Certificate will begin to operate utilizing a cohort model. Cohorts will consist of 10 individuals who progress through the program together. A cohort will begin in a Fall semester, and finish in the Spring semester. Courses will be organized in 6-week segments and the cohort will study one course or topic at a time. The cohort will meet weekly on Saturdays from 9-noon. The certificate is designed to be completed in one full calendar year, with the capstone project happening two times throughout the year. 



The Music in Worship Leadership Certificate will be an all-inclusive cost of $7,500. The cost per course is $1,250. If participants wish to take courses à la carte, the individual course cost is $1,500.